Newcastle have already rejected one bid from Gary Megson's Bolton but are willing to offload the controversial midfielder at the right price, claim the Guardian
St James' Park manager Joe Kinnear would like to retain the services of Barton, yet it is believed that owner Mike Ashley would prefer to cash in on a player who has spent a part of his Newcastle tenure in prison.
Bolton are said to have tabled a £2m bid, with a further £1m to follow if certain conditions were met. It is expected, however, that Portsmouth will return with a higher bid for the former Manchester City player.
Tony Adams has indentified Barton as the ideal replacement for Lassana Diarra. He would also bolster a midfield which will be without Pape Bouba Diop, who has been ruled out of action for three months through injury.
Newcastle paid £5.8 million for Barton 18 months ago but the player has been plagued by injury and controversy. Last summer the former England international served 74 days of a six-month prison sentence for affray and assault. He was also given a suspended six-month and six-match ban for a training-ground assault on former City team-mate Ousmane Dabo.
His past behaviour is unlikely to ward off Adams, who knows the player well through the Sporting Chance clinic which the former Arsenal captain established.
Equally, Megson is not deterred by Barton's previous misdemeanours and tried to sign him only last summer.
Barton, who has not played since Newcastle's home draw against Wigan on Nov 15, is expected to make a faster than expected return from injury at the end of the month. Given Bolton and Portsmouth's interest, however, the player may have already played his last game for the club.